Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CD of the Week - "Jochen Rückert: Somewhere Meeting Nobody"

CD of the Week
Jochen Rückert: "Somewhere Meeting Nobody" (Pirouet) 2011

**** (musical performance)
**** 1/2 (sonic quality)
Total Time 57:02

Recorded (November 29 & 30, 2010 at Bennett Studios, New Jersey), Mixed (February 9, 2011 at Pirouet Studio, Munich) & Produced by Jason Seizer
Featuring: Jochen Rückert (drums), Mark Turner (tenor sax), Brad Shepik (electric guitar) & Matt Penman (acoustic bass)

Despite the excellence of the four performers, guitarist Brad Shepik stands out as the session hero, with an impeccable performance throughout the album, supporting and stimulating the other musicians as well as soloing in a highly creative level. Not to mention his gorgeous tone. All the intrincate & complex tunes were composed by Rückert, except Herbie Hancock's "The Sorcerer" and Martin Gore's "To Have and To Hold." But the highlights are the vigorous opener "The Itch," on which Mark Turner shines, and "Vodka Coke."

A current of powerful, sensitively interacting colors holds the listener hostage from the first measure on, as the sounds of four remarkable individuals from the current New York jazz scene are blended together to create an excitingly vital group sound. This is music from a band with a low-keyed leader - a drummer who has everything firmly in hand - thrilling new jazz for the listener who loves expressive music that is both powerful and subtle.

Jochen Rueckert was born in 1975 in the town of Düren, near Cologne, Germany. He began playing drums at the age of six. From 1993 until 1995, he studied at the Conservatory for Music in Cologne, and after his graduation moved to Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1998, while still living in Brooklyn, he recorded his debut album, "Introduction." The band members included Hayden Chisholm, Ben Monder, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Chris Potter, and Johannes Weidenmüller. In 2000 Rueckert received the award for musical achievement from North-Rhine-Westphalia. He has played on some 80 albums, and toured Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia.

Rueckert has worked and works with such bands and musicians as the Marc Copland Trio, Nils Wogram's Root 70,the Kurt Rosenwinkel Group, the Mark Turner Band, the Sam Yahel Trio, the John McNeil/Bill McHenry Quartet and the Will Vinson Quartet, Chris Cheek, Drew Gress, Jason Seizer, John Abercrombie, Kevin Hays, Madeleine Peyroux, Thomas Rueckert and Tim Hagans. Besides his work as a jazz musician, Rueckert has played with such rock bands as Bonny Lundy, and Seems So Bright. He also is involved with electronic music, working with Marcus Schmickler, Jochen Bohnes, and Burnt Friedman. He programs, mixes, and produces electronic music under the pseudonym Wolff Parkinson White. His book "Read the Rueckert-travel observations and pictures of hotel rooms" is available on ibooks.

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